Whatever You Do, Steer Clear of the Iced Coffee!

Steer Clear of the Iced Coffee!

It’s hot. You’ve been running errands. You want to treat yourself to a nice, cool drink. In a moment of weakness you stop at a coffee shop and you order yourself a (choose one):

  1. McCafe Iced Vanilla Coffee
  2. Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
  3. Dunkin Donuts Vanilla Iced Latte

You savagely suck back 1/2 of the drink. You tell yourself you deserve this after the day you’ve had.

Sorry to break it to you, but unfortunately some of these bevies should have a disclaimer for side effects that you may experience later. Let’s investigate:

1. I Choose the McCafe Iced Vanilla Coffee Please!

Right off the Mc.Donald’s website is a listing of ingredients in their Iced Vanilla Coffee:

Premium roast coffee, light cream (milk, cream, sodium phosphate, DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan), vanilla syrup (sugar, water, natural (plant source) and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (preservatives), citric acid, caramel color (with sulfites))

If that’s not enough to make you sick, here’s a quick breakdown of some of the offending additives:

Sodium Phosphate: is used to treat constipation and to clean the bowel before surgery, x-rays, endoscopy, or other intestinal procedures. Sodium phosphate enemas are also used for general care after surgery and to help relieve impacted bowels. ummmm?

DATEM (Diacetyl tartaric Ester of Monoglyceride): used as an emulsifier and derived from soy, palm or canola oil.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate: emulsifier, stabilizer. A solid powder irritating to eyes and skin, and hazardous in case of inhalation.

Sodium Citrate: an anti-coagulant. Adverse reactions include: diarrhea. It should also be “used with caution in patients with cardiac failure, hypertension, impaired renal function, peripheral and pulmonary edema, and toxemia of pregnancy.”

Need I even go on?


Just do a google search of ‘McDonald’s Iced Coffee‘ and you will find countless anecdotal accounts claiming diarrhea and stomach cramps as side effects of this drink. With some of the same ingredients used to *ahem* ‘clean you out’ pre-surgery I suppose it should come as no surprise.  Zoix! You’d have to pay me to drink this one!

2. I’ll Take a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Please…

Alrighty. If you insist. Here’s a breakdown of its ingredients (Starbucks):

Coffee, milk, ice, caramel syrup (sugar, water, natural and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate (preservative), citric acid (preservative), caramel color), caramel sauce (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, butter (cream, salt), cream, water, nonfat dry milk, natural flavor , mono and diglycerides, potassium sorbate (preservative), soy lecithin (emulsifier), sodium bicarbonate), whipped cream (optional)

Natural and artificial flavor: a little ambiguous for my liking. I contacted Starbucks and lo and behold I was told that “spice and flavor information is proprietary to our formulations”. hmmm

Corn Syrup and HFCS: GMO. Linked to heart disease,obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more.

Mono and Diglycerides: additive that allows fats and water to combine well (emulsifier). Goes hand in hand with trans fats.

I think I’ll stop here. Really! They had me at artificial flavor.


I’m not really into artificial flavor, Corn syrup or HFCS and all the other crap stuff. I’ll make my own thanks.

3. I’m Down With DD’s Vanilla Iced Latte Please!

You sure about that? Ok. Here you have it (DD):

Skim Milk, Brewed Espresso Coffee, Sucralose, Vanilla Syrup (Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color)

Let’s dissect shall we?

Sucralose: AKA Splenda is an artificial sweetener that can actually increase hunger. It is manufactured by chlorinating natural sugar. Yuck!

Propylene Glycol: This baby deserves a blog post to itself! This is a form of antifreeze and is even used to de-ice airplanes.

K. I’m done.


Stay home and make your own. An iced latte is so simple, I’m not even sure what all the fuss is about. Here’s my version:

Libby’s No Brainer Iced Latte

1-2 shots of organic espresso

Organic sucanat, coconut sugar etc… ( I use about 1/2 tbsp)

1 cup of cold raw, or low temp pasteurized milk, or your favorite nut milk (recipe for almond milk)

1. Mix together, add a couple ice cubes and some whipped cream if you feel fancy and enjoy! Chemical free, guilt free.